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 Best light truck battery?
Fearless  [Member]
9/10/2007 10:51:10 AM
I have a pretty good idea as to what I need (550 CCA), but what are the best quality brands and which ones do I need to stay away from?

It's for a '98 Tacoma with a 2.7L 4-cyl.

Thanks!
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pevrs114  [Member]
9/10/2007 1:37:25 PM
Go Optima and don't look back. Red top should suit you for normal use, Yellow top if you do much winching, lights, etc.
die-tryin  [Team Member]
9/10/2007 5:49:14 PM
+1 Optima, hopefully you get a good one. There was a bad batch running around a year or so ago. I had gotten one of those. But the redtop and yellow top both in my truck (dual batt setup) are running fine. I did have a parasitic draw that I got squared away, but wasnt fault of batteries.
Waldo0506  [Team Member]
9/10/2007 6:07:09 PM
walmart special. when it goes out, return it under warranty for a new one.

My battery has been cranking since 1999 and its nothing special.
Justa_TXguy  [Team Member]
9/10/2007 6:13:34 PM

Originally Posted By Waldo0506:
walmart special. when it goes out, return it under warranty for a new one.

My battery has been cranking since 1999 and its nothing special.


This is sound advice.

Buy the good battery at Wal-Mart and KEEP THE RECEIPT. They have a great warranty.

DonofKalifornia  [Member]
9/10/2007 7:50:28 PM
I had a Walmart battery last me from early 99 till just a few weeks ago, paid only $29 for it one Saturday when I was leaving for the range and my truck wouldn't start. I planned on replacing it in a few mouths, yeah right.
GM_Muscle  [Member]
9/10/2007 7:54:55 PM
I really like my RedTop. It started it's life in my Camaro back in early '02. Car used to sit in the staging lanes all the time not running with the fans and bottle heater on. Never had an issue firing it up and making a pass after. Then I threw it in my '00 Silverado acouple years ago and it's still going strong. Well worth the money IMO.
Noise_Pollution101  [Member]
9/10/2007 8:55:43 PM
Optimas are the best but interstates are a great battery. Usually only 10 to 20 bucks more than your walmart everlast and usually (from what i've seen) last longer. As for which actual battery you need, look for a group number (two digits) on the old battery. That number should get you the right battery regardless of brand, but the cranking amps are not the same from brand to brand, don't worry about that so much. You will always have plenty of juice.
PeteCO  [Team Member]
9/10/2007 9:29:15 PM
Optima or Interstate

Walmart specials may have a great warranty but if I'm stranded on some back road, you know what I'll be thinking? I WON'T be thinking "well, at least it's under warranty."

What I WILL be thinking is "those m%$#*((f^cking ba$tards da*n piece of dog sh!t cheap %ss battery!!!!!"

Alacrity  [Member]
9/11/2007 9:33:23 AM

Originally Posted By die-tryin:
+1 Optima, hopefully you get a good one. There was a bad batch running around a year or so ago. I had gotten one of those. But the redtop and yellow top both in my truck (dual batt setup) are running fine. I did have a parasitic draw that I got squared away, but wasnt fault of batteries.


Ive heard the "bad batch" story for a while - any idea what the issue was? Ive some some attribute it to JC buying them (around 2000), others just a production flaw.

Optimas are fairly sensitive to over voltage - think that some of the issues are just poorly regulated charging. At first I thought I had a "bad one", but afterward, fairly sure OV is how I huffed one. Otherwise Ive had good service out of them - reds or yellows.

The two main reasons to go spendy on a Optima is they are low discharge and they resist vibration. But If you drive the vehicle weekly and dont off-road much, might not be worth the cost. Optimas do tend to be more durable. But the cost normally outweighs the performance. Assuming you have the original battery? Like any AGM you can put them at odd angles - and they're safer in passenger compartment. Costco has them fairly cheap - but all batts are costing more.

If you take a look at objective tests like Consumer Reports, its hard to tell which are the best brands. Brands testing very well often do poorly in subsequent years (often because specs are changed due to cost - 3 firms make most sold in the US, always to a price). Everyday use most wont leave you stranded - so I'd buy something with a good warranty with outlets common to your area.

But companies often find it cheaper to offer warranties than good QC. If I had to bet my ass on a battery, probably be a Lifeline AGM or an Odyssey. If you can afford the extra $100 bucks for a Optima - its a good choice. Otherwise grab something from Autozone, Walmart or Interstate. Like most above, think Interstate is the best choice if they are handy.

Luck
Alac
Deej86  [Team Member]
9/12/2007 12:04:40 PM
Champion or Interstate.

I wouldn't trust Wally world batteries(Sorry Waldo0506) because of family having bad experiences.
DBerk  [Member]
9/12/2007 4:08:06 PM
I have Dual redtops in my Bronco (DT, your really not suppose to run a yellow AND a red, but with an isolater I guess it is all fine) And I would suggest getting interstate or something, Optimas are nice, and look pretty cool but they cost Way to much, I only use my Bronco for Off-road anymore so I guess its a good thing I have a Gel battery

If its a DD dont spend too much, but dont go super cheap also.
die-tryin  [Team Member]
9/12/2007 4:10:20 PM

Originally Posted By DBerk:
I have Dual redtops in my Bronco (DT, your really not suppose to run a yellow AND a red, but with an isolater I guess it is all fine) And I would suggest getting interstate or something, Optimas are nice, and look pretty cool but they cost Way to much, I only use my Bronco for Off-road anymore so I guess its a good thing I have a Gel battery

If its a DD dont spend too much, but dont go super cheap also.


With my setup, the company that I got the isolator from said I can do it this way. The one is only a backup, so there is no draw to it. If i was running both batts at the same time for accessories Id make sure they match etc. And when doing it this way, your suppose to replace both at the same time, etc.
pevrs114  [Member]
9/12/2007 4:26:22 PM
DT which isolator did you use?
chiz45  [Team Member]
9/12/2007 5:42:19 PM
most of you didn't put what vehicles you use your Optima in, mine is a landcruiser. My positive terminal is on the left (looking into the front) so i bought the 34R red top. Anyone else have to do this? I've seen the dual sets of terminals, but didn't want to mess with the side ones.
die-tryin  [Team Member]
9/12/2007 8:32:43 PM

Originally Posted By pevrs114:
DT which isolator did you use?



Hellroaring.
DBerk  [Member]
9/12/2007 11:01:57 PM

Originally Posted By chiz45:
most of you didn't put what vehicles you use your Optima in, mine is a landcruiser. My positive terminal is on the left (looking into the front) so i bought the 34R red top. Anyone else have to do this? I've seen the dual sets of terminals, but didn't want to mess with the side ones.


I have 2 optimas in my Bronco, and I have it on an isolater so that one batt is running the truck and another is going to run all my other added goodies

I got what ever battery costco had, sorry that I dont know the number

and I see what you mean DT, I have heard of the charging problems with different batterys, but if you have one that is just there for peace of mind I see what you mean

Have you ran your winch with the red-top? Did it do well? was it enough I mean? I know you upgraded your alt, I may need to do that but I dont want to replace something that's not broke, Im thinking of going to a 100 amp constant, as I think It would give me a better charge at idle

Alacrity  [Member]
9/13/2007 11:46:32 AM
But none of this really answers the initial question. Its something Ive never been able to get anything authoritative on.

Deej mentions Champion as a better choice than Walmart - tho Exide produces batts for both (albeit different specs perhaps, and only a portion of Walmarts line). At various times, and anecdotally, Diehards are fantastic or carp.

My personal experience just clouds the issue. We have @ 15 trucks in our maint division - Chevy 2500 and a couple S10. They avg about 10 years and 150k prior to replacement - most get 4-5 years on the orig Delco batteries. Aas far as I can tell, we've used exclusively Autozone Duralast Gold - primarily due to the stores proximity. No one can recall any issues.

During the 90s had regional distribution company that used a number of diesels - Ford 450 and Isuzu NPR. We sourced Interstate for replacements as that what our on-site tech recommended. I can recall a couple of inop trucks due to battery failure. Diesels a different animal and the use cycle was very much different - but my experience runs counter to what I believe about these two examples.

So Im not sure what to recommend, as I can never seem to get a handle on objective qualities, vs subjective anecdotes.

As far as applications? Optimas are in my Land Rovers, got 8 years (with quite a bit of abuse/discharging) on the original Panasonic in the Land Cruiser.

Luck
Alac
M4Madness  [Team Member]
10/6/2007 6:29:48 PM
Let's bring this thread back to life. I bought an Optima red top battery today for my '96 Jeep XJ, after experiencing slow starts for the last week or two. I'd heard a little about them, as my buddy runs an Optima yellow top in his off-road only Jeep XJ and swears by it. I figured the red top would be fine for my application, as I don't run a winch, etc. I just came here and did a search for batteries in general, and am happy to find positive reviews regarding the Optimas.
Justa_TXguy  [Team Member]
10/6/2007 6:53:18 PM

Originally Posted By M4Madness:
Let's bring this thread back to life. I bought an Optima red top battery today for my '96 Jeep XJ, after experiencing slow starts for the last week or two. I'd heard a little about them, as my buddy runs an Optima yellow top in his off-road only Jeep XJ and swears by it. I figured the red top would be fine for my application, as I don't run a winch, etc. I just came here and did a search for batteries in general, and am happy to find positive reviews regarding the Optimas.


The Optimas are great batteries but they are expensive.

If I took my junk offroad a lot I would run one. I don't, so the top of the line Wal-Mart battery is the best battery for the money.

M4Madness  [Team Member]
10/6/2007 7:20:35 PM

Originally Posted By Justa_TXguy:
The Optimas are great batteries but they are expensive.

If I took my junk offroad a lot I would run one. I don't, so the top of the line Wal-Mart battery is the best battery for the money.



I fully understand. My biggest concern is starting in extremely cold weather. If it gets below zero, I want to be 100% positive that my vehicle will start at 6:00 AM. In most instances in life, you get what you pay for. Hopefully this adage carries over to automotive batteries as well.
Bogie  [Member]
10/7/2007 1:08:29 AM
Another Optima fan here I have 3 (2 in the truck & 1 in the hotrod) for a very good alternative I have a Exide Spiral cell in the Jeep that has performed just as well over the last 4-5 years
dillonivik  [Team Member]
10/8/2007 1:47:26 PM
In my opinion, dont spend the extra few bucks on an Optima. They sold thier patant to Exide so the Napa brand dry cell bateries are the same thing. I have been running one of those in my Isuzu for 6years. And i have lights and a winch on it. Never had a single problem, and at the time that battery was about $20 cheaper than an Optima.
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